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Transitioning to the Present - Written Interview with Alex

Questions by Heather Zeni...

H: As always, I loved this piece. Your writing is relatable and at times, vulnerable. Was it hard to revisit those times in your life that were less than ideal?

A: At some point in the past, yes, it was difficult. I’ve really come a long way since I started sharing parts of myself here on the blog. I think the best way to let something go is to let it come at you and to feel the pain it brings. I believe that blocking it out and holding it in makes the process harder and longer. I know there are things that are really hard to face so don’t do it alone. Get support: from a friend, therapist, family. There are people out there, I promise. Now, I look back at those times with a positive mindset reminding myself of how much I've grown. H: How do you think that the accident played a part in the shifts and changes that followed afterward? Is it something you still carry?

A: Strangely, at that time, many things were already starting to shift. I had just started a full time “adult” job, and I had just cut my very long hair to right below my ears. I had a negative attachment to the car I was driving and just like that it was totaled. Call it fate, but having a full time job at that time helped me to pay for my next car, which I still have. I got to pick the car I wanted this time, which gave me power I thought I never had. Though I had anxiety driving after the accident, it seemed to put me on a path I was supposed to be on. I am extremely lucky for it to have worked out that way, and to have come out of it without a scratch. For that I am grateful. Looking at it from this perspective helps when something else unexpected occurs. I try to focus on the positives. H: Being a senior in a new school sounds intimidating. I loved the outlook you had going into this transition, and I love the honesty you offer on how things didn’t play out the way you had hoped. Any advice for those currently stuck in the middle of an uneasy transition?

A: My advice would be to be honest about how you’re feeling as soon as you start noticing it. My problem was that I tried hard to convince myself and everyone around me that I was fine. This caused me to not get the support I needed. H: Do you take cream in your coffee?

A: Good question! I was just talking to my coworkers about this. When I make coffee at home, I don’t put anything in it and like to enjoy it hot and plain. I work at a coffee shop so I’ve acquired the taste for black coffee, but when I’m at work I have to drink iced blonde espresso with vanilla and oat milk. It goes down quickly and smoothly for that quick caffeine fix before work.

H: The experiences from past moments certainly can shape who we become in the aftermath. You speak on finding gratitude for who and where you are now. Tell us, what parts are you grateful for? In other words, can you brag on yourself for a moment?

A: Brag? You want me to brag about myself? I’m not sure I have learned how to do that yet, but I can say that it takes time and I’m grateful that I gave myself the time to grow and heal.

H: Holding space in the present moment and living in the now are wonderful reminders, thank you for writing about this. Can you share a couple tips on keeping this mentality at the forefront?

A: The best tips I can give that work for me would be:

1. Taking deep breaths. (like 10 deep breaths)

2. Positive affirmations. (write them down)

3. Staying active. (go on walks more often)

H: What new transitions do you wish to call into your life now? New job? Travel?

A: There are always so many things that I look forward to. Now that I am out of school, I do want to find a job that can support me financially, and I want to invest more time into myself and others whether that includes hobbies, traveling, and community work.

H: Where can our readers find more of your offerings?

A: You can find more of my work and my tips on the LYF blog.

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